Chamise-dori Street is a nostalgic street between Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen. There are several souvenir shops and cafes on the street.
Kenrokuen Garden is considered one of the “Three Great Gardens of Japan” and features a variety of trees, ponds, waterfalls and flowers stretching over 25 acres (100,000 m²). Kenrokuen was first established in the 17th century by the feudal lords of Kaga as their private garden. Kenrokuen means the ‘Six Attributes Garden’ and Japanese gardens which have all of these six attributes are thought to be the perfect garden. The six attributes are; spaciousness, seclusion, artifice, antiquity, water-courses and panoramas. As a matter of fact, it is difficult to find a garden even with three or four of these attributes. However, Kenrokuen has them all!
Korakuen entertain visitors throughout the year even in winter with trees covered by white snow and yukitsuri (trees supported by umbrella-like ropes to protect the branches from breaking with heavy snow).
These Korakuen are found in the following order if a clock-wise path is taken from the entrance.
This is the ideal spot to enjoy panoramic views. A panoramic view is one of the six attributes of a perfect Japanese garden.
Kasumiga-ike Pond – The pond is located around the center of Kenrokuen, and is the biggest pond in the garden. The pond has sites of beautiful scenery arranged around it such as Uchihashi-tei tea house, Kotoji lantern, Niji-bashi bridge, Karasaki pine tree and Horai island.
Kotoji Lantern has two legs, which resemble Kotoji, the bridge on a Koto. It is a modified version of the Yukimi Lantern, which lights up the surface of the water. The scene that includes this lantern, the surrounding old trees with their colorful autumn foliage and Niji (rainbow) Bridge is the most impressive in Kenrokuen.
Uchihashi-tei is one of the four tea houses in Kenrokuen. The house is supported by the stone legs but looks as if it is floating on the Kasumiga-ike Pond.
Karasaki Matsu is a black pine tree which was planted by the 13th lord Nariyasu, with a seed brought from one of the most scenic shore spots of Lake Biwa. The tree has the most beautiful sprawling branches in Kenrokuen. It is especially beautiful in winter when supported by umbrella-like ropes to protect the branches from breaking with heavy snow, which scenery cannot be seen in other gardens.
This hill is called Shichi-fukujin-yama (Seven Lucky Gods Hill) because the seven naturally shaped stones are arranged as the seven lucky gods. It conveys the atmosphere of the old time with winding streams, built up hill and Yukimi stone lanterns.
This cherry blossom blooms between the end of April to the beginning of May and has 300 petals on each flower.
The statue of Yamatotakeru-no-Mikoto in the center and the monument for the war victims on the left, Meiji Monument is dedicated to the soldiers who died in the Seinan battle. It was erected in 1880 and is believed as the first bronze statue in Japan.
The name of Sekirei-jima comes from the Japanese myth that a wagtail taught the first god and goddess (Izanagi and Iganami) how to make a child. The front torii gate has a stone panel inscribed with ‘Sanja (three shrines)’ and three stones on the island represent birth, marriage and death which symbolize the three major ceremonies of life.
Hanami-bashi (Flower Viewing Bridge) is so named for the excellent view of flowers enjoyed from the bridge. Cherry, iris and azalea flowers in season blossoming along the streams attract many visitors. Green leaves in summer and colorful leaves in autumn as well as the view in winter mustn’t be missed.
Neagari Matsu (Raised Roots Pine) is an unusual pine tree showing more than 40 big and small roots raised about 2m off the ground looks as if it is about to rise off the ground.
The plum grove of Kenrokuen Garden was landscaped from 1968 to 1969, as part of a project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Meiji period. Saplings for the plum grove were gathered from famous places for plum trees such as Kitano Tenmangu shrine, Dazaifu Tenmangu, Yushima Tenmangu, and Kairakuen. There are now 200 trees of 20 varieties. The dark pink and white blossoms are at their best in March.
This boat shape arbor is located next to the Plum Grove Garden to enjoy plum flowers.
Shigure-tei is one of the four tea houses in Kenrokuen. Shigure-tei was reconstructed in 2000 together with the development of a new garden adjacent to the tea house. You can enjoy traditional Japanese tea here.
Hisago-ike name comes from the gourd-like shape with the center of the pond narrowed. There is a pair of big and small islands on the pond symbolising perpetual youth and longevity. The pond is connected by the ground to Yugao-tei tea house.
Kaisekito Pagoda is 4.1 meters high, standing on the island in the center of Hisagoike pond. Its six stone roofs are light brown with worm-eaten-like holes.